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Inyo National Forest
IUCN Category VI (Managed Resource Protected Area)

Hikers access Mount Whitney, highest point in the Continental United States, through the Inyo National Forest
Map of the United States
Location Eastern Sierra Nevada Range
Nearest city Bishop, California
Coordinates 37°51′10″N 118°17′10″W / 37.85278°N 118.28611°W / 37.85278; -118.28611Coordinates: 37°51′10″N 118°17′10″W / 37.85278°N 118.28611°W / 37.85278; -118.28611
Area 1.9 million acres (7700 km²)[1]
Established May, 1907
Governing body USDA / U.S. Forest Service
Official website

Inyo National Forest is a federally protected forest in the United States. It is mostly located in California 1,839,887 acres (7,445.76 km2), but has a small section in western Nevada of 60,656 acres (245.47 km2).[1] It stretches from the eastern side of Yosemite to south of Sequoia National Park. Geographically it is split in two, with each part roughly serving as a border of Owens Valley, the Mammoth Lakes region and the Mono Lake region. A majority of the forest is federally protected wilderness, including part of the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

The name "Inyo" comes from a Native American word meaning "dwelling place of the great spirit." It was used by local Native Americans to describe the local mountains, now known as the Inyo Mountains, to early settlers of the area. The Inyo National Forest was named after Inyo County, California, in which much of the Forest resides.[2] It is located in parts of Inyo, Mono, Tulare, and Madera counties in California, and Esmeralda and Mineral counties in Nevada. Forest headquarters are located in Bishop, California. There are local ranger district offices in Bishop, Lee Vining, Lone Pine, and Mammoth Lakes.[3] The forest was established on May 25, 1907. On July 1, 1945 land from the former Mono National Forest was added.[4]

The Forest also harbors an estimated 238,000 acres (96,000 ha) of old-growth forests[5 ]. The most abundant trees in these forests are Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) and Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi), but these are not the most fascinating. Somewhere on its high-elevation slopes and ridges, at an undisclosed location, is "Methuselah", a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) that is the oldest non-clonal living tree on earth, over 4,839 years old[6].


The Shulman grove of Bristlecone pines

Popular within Inyo National Forest are:

See also




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